Jurisdictional Issues

jurisdictional-issues-hlg-1In today’s mobile society, families often have multiple residences or move on a frequent basis. The issue of where to file a family law matter can be complex and have far reaching ramifications.

RESIDENCY

Florida requires that one of the spouses be a resident of the state of Florida for 6 months prior to the filing of a divorce petition. The issue of residency is typically proven with a driver’s license or a voter’s identification card.

Spouses with multiple residences in different states, “snowbirds” spending part-time in Florida, and spouses with business interests in and out of Florida, it may not be obvious if they qualify for the residency requirement for the filing of a dissolution of marriage. Attorney Hughes at Hughes Law Group can explain whether you or your spouse meet the qualifications of Florida residency to file a Florida divorce action.

UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT

A jurisdictional issue faced by parents of minor children is in what state should timesharing and custody actions be filed and litigated. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, also known as the UCCJEA, was passed in Florida and adopted by 49 states. It vests exclusive and continuing jurisdiction for child custody litigation in the courts of the child’s “home state” which is defined as the state where the child has lived with a parent for 6 consecutive months prior to the commencement of the proceeding. This determination of “home state” can be factually intensive. At Hughes Law Group, Attorney Hughes has substantial experience with UCCJEA cases and can help guide you through what is needed to meet the “home state” requirement to obtain jurisdiction in Florida.

Once a Florida court has made a custody determination, the Florida court retains exclusive  jurisdiction until the child, and both the child’s parents no longer reside in the state or until the Florida court determines the Florida court is no longer a convenient forum to hear future litigation. If you have questions regarding a state’s jurisdiction over your custody or timesharing case, contact Allyson Hughes, our jurisdictional attorney at Hughes Law Group in New Port Richey and Tampa today.